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Conclusion

 

Most of us have a general understanding of what is happening in the RPG world, but many of the trends that were identified didn't cross my mind prior to this analysis. For instance, I could have sworn there were more western RPGs and fewer JRPGs on the market, but western RPGs have simply become more high profile in North America and more JRPGs are moving to new platforms. Also, while it was clear that there have been fewer RPGs on console platforms since the heyday of the PlayStation 2, I wouldn't have assumed that portable systems were starting to lose traction. And while it's clear that the mobile market is looking like the new frontier for RPG releases, this release trend shouldn't be terribly surprising or tremendously upsetting. A substantial amount of the population owns a smartphone of some type, and with more uniform development specs and low publishing fees, RPGs can be far cheaper to develop and release on mobile platforms than they ever could be on consoles or portables. The development process is so favorable on mobile platforms that even inexperienced developers can get in on the action.

Rather than get into a full debate regarding quality versus quantity of RPG releases, it's probably better to accept that the RPG landscape is changing and we likely need to change with it. Consoles and portables have always been viable platforms for RPGamers and it would be fair to predict many great titles in the future for both platforms, but it's clear that things are trending to the mobile space. Regardless, RPGamers have been spoiled over the past ten years with a plethora of releases, including a good number that sit amongst the best ever in the genres. I can only hope that trend continues.

 

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